TV, movies, and social media are full of bright smiles, but you don’t have to be an A-lister of celebrity influencer to achieve whiter teeth! Here at Accent Smile Center, we’re proud to offer laser whitening treatments to patients in Dickson and the surrounding communities. This method is quick, effective, and produces longer-lasting results that are hard to beat. If you’ve been looking for a way to get your smile red-carpet ready, laser whitening could be the perfect solution! Keep reading below to learn how we can brighten your smile with laser whitening treatment.
Before treatment begins
While laser whitening is a very safe procedure, it’s not recommended for everyone. That’s why Dr. Gatgens will start with a screening process to ensure you’re a good candidate. He’ll look for any of the following.
Receding gums—If you have gums that are receding in places, they may expose a part of the tooth that’s unable to be whitened. This could lead to an uneven application.
Dental restorations—Whitening solutions only work on natural teeth, so it’s important to note any previous dental work, like fillings, veneers, and crowns.
Sensitivity— If your teeth are prone to sensitivity, Dr. Gatgens may be able to provide an anti-inflammatory to soothe your teeth and gums during the whitening process.
Your overall dental health—Teeth that are healthy and have strong enamel are ideal for laser teeth whitening!
If you are a good candidate, we’ll clean your teeth thoroughly to prepare them for the treatment.
How do teeth whitening treatments work?
Laser teeth whitening incorporates the use of hydrogen peroxide, as most whitening treatments do. Hydrogen peroxide is a bleaching agent, and it’s what we use to alter the color and shade of the teeth. Our teeth contain molecules that contribute to the color of our teeth, and play a role in any darkness or discoloration. Hydrogen peroxide is able to efficiently penetrate the pores of the tooth and break down any stain-causing molecules that are present. Once these molecules are dissolved, the teeth will appear whiter and brighter.
Over-the-counter whitening treatments like toothpastes and rinses often contain small amounts of hydrogen peroxide that can successfully remove stains on the outer layer of the teeth. Professional treatments like laser whitening have a higher concentration of hydrogen peroxide present, allowing them to go deeper in the tooth to attack stains made on the dentin layer beneath the surface.
Because higher doses of hydrogen peroxide can be abrasive, laser whitening must be performed by an experienced dental professional like Dr. Gatgens in order to avoid damaging the enamel of your teeth. Many dental offices will use only a hydrogen peroxide based gel or solution to whiten the teeth, and this can certainly produce results patients are happy with! However, we have found that laser teeth whitening works faster, more effectively, and provides superior results.
How does laser teeth whitening work?
Once the bleaching solution has been applied to your teeth, Dr. Gatgens will target the laser on to each individual tooth. This usually takes about 5-10 minutes. The heat from the laser activates the whitening agent—the hydrogen peroxide product—and causes the solution to foam. This speeds up the chemical reaction of the solution penetrating the teeth and dissolving the complex molecules that cause discoloration. This significantly shortens treatment time and gives you a beautifully bright smile!
What to expect from the laser whitening process
Every dentist will have their own process for performing laser whitening treatment, but you can expect the procedure to be similar to the one we’ve outlined below.
Step 1—After cleaning your teeth, Dr. Gatgens will use an instrument to hold your mouth open. Not only is this more comfortable than asking you to hold your mouth open for an extended period of time, it also makes it harder for saliva to reach your teeth. Saliva can counteract with the whitening solution and prevent it from working as effectively, so this is an important step!
Step 2—A barrier will be placed over your gums to protect them, usually a gel that hardens into a protective casing. We do this because the whitening solution can irritate sensitive gum tissues, and we want to ensure treatment is as comfortable as possible.
Step 3—With the mouthpiece and gum barrier in place, Dr. Gatgens can begin applying the whitening solution to the front of your teeth using a syringe or similar device. Once it has been evenly applied, he will use the pen-like laser to activate the solution. You’ll feel it begin to foam as it heats up.
Step 4—After letting the solution sit for a couple of minutes, Dr. Gatgens will clean it off using a small vacuum-like instrument. That’s all there is to it! This treatment process can be repeated up to 3 separate times. You’ll be provided with a list of post-treatment steps before you leave. Depending on the severity of your discoloration, we may schedule you for another teeth whitening appointment at this time.
Remember that the success of any teeth whitening procedure will depend on the genetic makeup of your teeth. For the best results, you only want to whiten teeth back to their natural shade. This isn’t always bright white! In fact, it’s often closer to an off-white color. Be realistic about your expectations and be sure to confer with Dr. Gatgens if you have any questions or concerns.
How to care for your teeth post-treatment
You can expect some temporary tooth sensitivity following laser whitening. Brush gently with a soft-bristled toothbrush to minimize any discomfort. Desensitizing toothpaste is less abrasive than regular toothpaste is, and will help protect your enamel, too.
You’ll also want to avoid certain foods and beverages after your treatment, especially in the first 48 hours. This includes soda, coffee, tea, red meat, berries and other fruits, foods that contain dye, and anything with tomato sauce or juice. Doing so will help prevent the re-staining of your newly whitened teeth!
Brighten your smile with laser whitening by Accent Smile Center
Professional tooth whitening gives you safer, better, and longer-lasting results. Here at Accent Smile Center, we’re proud to offer laser whitening for an exceptionally beautiful smile! If your teeth are discolored from drinking, smoking, aging, or any other reason, we can help restore their natural brilliance. Get in touch today to schedule a consultation with Dr. Gatgens!